ISM Services PMI Expands for 15th Straight Month

The Institute of Supply Management (ISM) has released its March services purchasing managers' index (PMI). The headline composite index is at 51.4, falling short of the 52.8 forecast. The latest reading marks the 15th straight month the index has been expansion territory.

Here is an excerpt from the report summary:

Nieves continues, “The decrease in the rate of growth in March and the decline in the composite index is a result of slower new orders growth, faster supplier deliveries and a contraction in employment. The report continued to reflect growth month over month. Respondents indicated continuing improvement in logistics and the supply chain. Employment challenges remain a combination of difficulties in backfilling positions and/or controlling labor expenses. The Prices Index reflected its lowest reading since March 2020, when the index registered 50.4 percent; however, respondents indicated that even with some prices stabilizing, inflation is still a concern.”

Unlike its much older kin, the ISM manufacturing series, there is relatively little history for ISM's non-manufacturing data, especially for the headline composite Index, which dates from 2008. The chart below shows the non-manufacturing composite.

ISM Services PMI